2015 French Open Tennis Picks: Favorites the Play, or Upset in the Making?

Nikki Adams

Monday, May 4, 2015 2:35 PM GMT

Monday, May. 4, 2015 2:35 PM GMT

Midway through the clay court season and it's Djokovic who emerges as the tennis betting odds-on-fave to win the 2015 French Open crown, usurping perennial tennis betting fave Nadal. 

Djokovic's Quest To Win Roland Garros
World No.1 Novak Djokovic's quest to topple King of Clay Rafael Nadal receives a market boost midway through the ATP clay-court swing, as he emerges as the de facto odds-on-fave to win outright at -110 tennis odds. Naturally, there's good reason for this sudden – somewhat strange – move to replace 9-time champion Nadal at the top of the tennis odds board. A strong start to the season to begin with, which includes winning just about everything of note, from the Australian Open title to three straight Masters (Indian Wells, Miami and Monte Carlo). It's hard to argue with such sensational form and, admittedly, it's very deserving of the recognition across sportsbooks.

It helps Djokovic's cause in tennis betting circles that Rafael Nadal is a far cry from his best; the Spaniard has been struggling not only to find his competitive best but also – and this is most crucial towards the French Open outlook on the tennis betting floor – his clay-court domination. For the first time in a decade, the Spaniard actually looks beatable on his beloved dirt. Case-and-point, he's only won one event on clay this season, and he heads into this week's Madrid Masters with a disconcerting 11-3 record, which is a concern by his lofty standards.

Twice he's lost to Fabio Fognini, including last week's third round loss in Barcelona (his earliest exit in the Catalan capital in over a decade). To put it into perspective: the last time Nadal lost three matches on clay in any given season was in his rookie campaign in 2003 when he went 11-6. It's hardly surprising, therefore, Nadal's tennis odds to win his tenth crown in Paris have swelled up to +200 on the French Open odds board.

Tennis betting odds aren't absolute. They are only a reflection of the subjective opinions of bookies and experts alike and an estimation of current form, which is all relative really. Easily rendered a moot point once the prestigious major gets underway. Nadal is an eye-popping 66-1 at Roland Garros, with only Robin Soderling clinching the "W" at his expense in the R16 in 2009.

Last year, Djokovic arrived at the French Open, riding the momentum of stellar form, which included four straight wins against Nadal. At the time, his chances to finally win the only major title to elude him in his career were lauded over Nadal. Tale told, he lost the final in four sets to the Spaniard.

Indeed, Nadal is Djokovic's biggest obstacle in Paris, and the only reason why the Serb hasn't joined an illustrious group of tennis champions to have completed the grand slam sweep. A group that includes Nadal, Federer, Agassi and the great Rod Laver. This year, with Nadal looking his most vulnerable yet, it does seem that Djokovic has the best chance ever to conquer Court Philippe Chatrier. Then again, it's seemed like it before only for Nadal to dismiss those chances at the French Open time and time again. Overall, Nadal is 6-0 over Djokovic at the French Open and that is the most telling statistic of all.

This week all eyes are on the Madrid Masters, Djokovic is sitting out the Madrid Masters, opening the door for Rafael Nadal to reclaim his clay-court form as the favourite to win outright. In no uncertain terms Nadal's tennis odds and chances for the French Open rest heavily on the outcome of Madrid as well as Rome, the following week.

Indeed, the performance of the rest of the field in these back-to-back Masters is going to be followed closely.  While we've focused mainly on the rivalry between Nadal and Djokovic at the French Open in this article, there are many other threats that tennis bettors might fancy on their tennis picks as outside bets. There's Roger Federer (2009 champion), who is trading at a tempting +2500 to win outright. As well, rising Japanese star Kei Nishikori at +1400 and veteran Stan Warwinka at +2000 tennis odds, amongst several other dangerous floaters that include David Ferrer at +2500, Gael Monfils at +3300 and Tomas Berdych at +5000.

It goes without saying, the excitement for the ATP 2015 French Open is building quickly. Primarily the hope for a title billing between the two greatest fighters the sport has seen. If it does materialise, the tennis betting markets are sure to be hopping with action as tennis bettors weigh in with their tennis picks. In fact, it woulnd't surprise us if it were a record-breaking Grand Slam final betting affair.

May the best player win!

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